It's not hard to believe a U.S. Professors of the Year award exists. It's just hard to believe hardly anyone has heard of it until a local professor claimed the prize.
Dr. Wei Chen, a professor at the University of Central Oklahoma, was in Washington, D.C., last week picking up his professor of the year award. Chen is professor of biomedical engineering in UCO's College of Mathematics and Science. He was selected as one of four professors of the year by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). The award is sponsored by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
With more than 10 years researching a solution for the treatment of metastatic melanoma, Chen has taught more than 20 different courses over the past two decades.
According to CASE, Chen was strongly influenced by the teachings of Confucius. You know, that old-time philosopher who was always saying something.
Beginning in 2000, Chen established a biomedical engineering undergraduate degree program at UCO " the first and only one in Oklahoma. He is recognized for his cancer research, which his students study while reportedly incorporating laser physics, engineering designs, chemistry and biology. If anybody understands that, then you are probably one of Chen's students.
Created in 1981, the award is the only one recognizing undergraduate teaching.
Chen was selected from nearly 300 professors throughout the United States.
"We, as professionals in education, have heavy burdens on our shoulders because what we do not only affects today's students, but it will have a long-lasting impact on society for many years to come," said the winning professor.
Now everyone should know what this award is.